American Airlines says suspending flights to Venezuela

Published March 16, 2019, 12:53 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Agence France-Presse

American Airlines said Friday it is suspending flights to Venezuela amid the deteriorating humanitarian situation and increased safety concerns in the country.

“American has temporarily suspended our operation into Caracas and Maracaibo,” the carrier said in a statement. “The safety and security of our team members and customers is always number one and American will not operate to countries we don’t consider safe.”

American had been sending two flights a week to Caracas and one to the western city of Maracaibo, all from Miami.

The decision came after the US State Department this week issued a “do not travel” advisory urging Americans to avoid the crisis-hit country “due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens.”

Washington also pulled all diplomatic personnel out of the country this week and urged US citizens to leave.

The Allied Pilots Association on Friday called on members to refuse any trips to the country.

“Until further notice, if you are scheduled, assigned, or reassigned a pairing into Venezuela, refuse the assignment,” the APA said in a statement.

United, which offers a flight out of Newark, did not respond to an AFP request for comment.